UC Riverside protestors reach agreement to end pro-Palestinian encampment

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Protestors at the University of California, Riverside reached an agreement with school officials to end the pro-Palestinian campus occupation Friday night.

The encampment began on April 29 as protestors occupied the area beside Bell Tower. The movement was led by the university’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Protestors demanded the university disclose its investments and funding and that it should divest from companies and institutions that are “complicit in the Israeli occupation, apartheid, and genocide” of Palestinians.

There were also calls for UCR to sever ties with Israeli universities, including student exchange programs, according to the Press-Enterprise.

A negotiation meeting took place on May 1 and a planned rally later that day drew several hundred participants to the campus.

On Friday, campus leaders and demonstrators successfully reached an agreement to end the encampment no later than Friday, May 3, by midnight, according to UCR officials.

“I am pleased to share that we have reached an agreement that will result in the peaceful conclusion of the encampment,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox. “It has been my goal to resolve this matter peacefully and I am encouraged by this outcome – which was generated through constructive dialogue.”

As part of the agreement, university officials settled on these terms:

  • All currently public information on UC’s investments will be posted to the UCR campus website. It will continue to be updated as the UC releases more information. The goal is to get full disclosure of the list of companies in the portfolio and the size of the investments.
  • The UCR Administration agrees to form a task force that includes students appointed by ASUCR’s Diversity Council and faculty appointed by the Academic Senate to explore the removal of UCR’s endowment from the management of the UC Investments Office, and the investment of said endowment in a manner that will be financially and ethically sound for the university with consideration to the companies involved in arms manufacturing and delivery.
  • The goal of this task force is to produce a report to present to the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees by the end of Winter Quarter 2025. The task force will be formed by the end of the Spring 2024 quarter.
  • Commitment to bimonthly meetings with the AVC of Auxiliary Services and an ongoing review of Sabra Hummus consistent with existing product review processes until we can find a resolution.
  • The School of Business has discontinued Global Programs in Oxford, USA, Cuba, Vietnam, Brazil, China, Egypt, Jordan, and Israel.
  • UCR will modify its approval process for all study abroad programs to ensure compliance with UC’s Anti-Discriminatory Policies.

The encampment at UC Riverside is one of many pro-Palestinian demonstrations taking place on college campuses across the country in response to the Israel-Hamas War that began on Oct. 7, 2023.

In Southern California, protests and rallies took place at USC, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, Cal State Long Beach, Pitzer College in Claremont and UC San Diego.

Most campus demonstrations remained peaceful despite violence breaking out at UCLA on April 30 when dozens of pro-Israeli protestors, many wearing white masks, swarmed the campus and attempted to dismantle the pro-Palestinian encampment that overtook Royce Quad since April 25.

The agitators threw fireworks at the encampment and attacked demonstrators with bear or pepper spray. Many people were seen punching and fist-fighting on the lawn during the late-night ambush.

The next day, a large police presence surrounded UCLA and declared the encampment an unlawful assembly. Officers worked overnight to eventually clear the massive encampment. Around 210 people were arrested or detained and hundreds more left the campus voluntarily.

Removal of the tents at the UC Riverside encampment have begun and will be cleared by Friday at midnight.

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